“And suddenly you just know it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” — Meister Eckhart
I began a new chapter this week. I started a new job. I work as a Part-time Library Assistant at a local public library, and I am so excited about it! This job was one of the first positions I applied to several months ago. The process of getting here was excruciating though.
The other day I read a post from a young woman just out of graduate school but who had been working in her chosen field in different capacities for a few years. She wrote about how frustrating and disheartening it is to be a young person looking for work these days. She described feeling that she was jumping through hoops while trying to decide what the interviewer was looking for based on the odd interview questions. Looking for work does feel like a full-time job without the pay.
I found the article interesting because I felt the same way but from a mature person’s perspective. I was beginning to wonder if I kept getting turned down because of my age or too much experience. Generally, the application process is all done online, and even though you are asked to upload a resume, you still have to fill out a multi-page application in which you manually enter the information already on your resume. I found out that although some sites ask for a resume, your interviewer may only get the application questionnaire. Once you receive an invitation for an interview, there may be pre-interview personality testing or online testing of your general knowledge.
In my own experience, sometimes during the interview, the answers to the questions seemed so obvious that I stopped to second-guess myself wondering if there could be any other answer. For example, one retail giant asked. “If you get a phone call that there is an emergency at home what would you do?” I answered that I would tell my supervisor and find coverage if needed. As the interviewer stared at me blankly, I wondered if it was a trick question. Should I have responded, that I wouldn’t get an emergency call at work because my phone would be turned off and in my locker?
One employer had called a former co-worker as a reference. She asked if he thought I could tolerate not being in charge; and would I be able to adjust to an entry level position? I had honestly addressed the reasons for applying for this particular position working with families in the community. What was she thinking? After that incident, I thinned out my resume so that I did not appear intimidating on paper, but better qualified for an entry-level position.
I was so happy to get the phone call with the job offer for Part-time Library Assitant. Over the past several months, I had applied to several local libraries whenever I saw a vacancy advertised. As I was growing up, the library was a significant part of my life, as it was for my children and grandchildren. As an adult, I enjoyed volunteering at a local public library through a previous employer’s community partnership program. Although I sent applications to various companies with better salaries, I still prefer to work in a library. I believe compensation for work can be measured in different ways. I consider that libraries continue to be an essential part of the community and I wanted to be a part of maintaining that legacy.
I am looking forward to working with creative people who enjoy reading and writing stories as much as I do. I am anticipating good times in this next chapter in my life. Wish me luck!